Advertisers demand a clean up of 'the digital swamp'

The digital ad industry has received stern warnings over recent months as many leading CMO's including Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of Procter & Gamble, the world’s biggest advertiser and Keith Weed, CMO of Unilever, the world’s second-biggest advertiser, have demanded action to clean up what has been called the digital swamp.

The problems with online advertising have become a serious issue among advertisers with Big Digital's lack of transparency, the YouTube brand safety row (when dozens of brands discovered their ads were appearing next to extremist content), computer bot fraud where ads are not even seen by humans, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, when the data firm obtained personal information on 87 million Facebook users.

The YouTube brand safety row has also encouraged brands to take more responsibility for the placement of their ads. No longer are they prepared to 'spray and pray' and neither will they delegate all the decision-making to their media-buying agency.

Instead, as research by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a US trade body for the digital ad industry and Accenture Interactive, the digital marketing arm of consulting giant Accenture has found, 65% of brands are bringing some or all of their programmatic ad-buying in-house. Many brands have also introduced tougher, so-called 'whitelists' of sites on which their ads can appear, as demonstrated by J.P. Morgan Chase who slashed its list of approved sites from 400,000 to about 10,000 last year. It's clear that digital agencies need to up their game to survive.

Fiona Swainston is SVP Europe of programmatic advertising agency Digital Ignite

Photo by delfi de la Rua on Unsplash

Using BOLD images in your articles will get you seen

One of the six psychological principles that explain how we behave in a certain situation Robert Cialdini, Ph.D. discussed in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is called the social proof

Basically, it means that we will know if an action or thing is right for us if there are other people who do that activity or use the same thing or product.

To better explain this, recall a time when you bought a product just because your best friend is using it and recommended it to you. That’s the principle of social proof – applied.

If you’re wondering how you can apply this principle to your online business, here are five ways you can visualize social proof shown in this infographic made with Visme that can turn your current prospects into lifetime clients.


2018 Email Marketing Will Continue to Engage Consumers

Why Email Marketing?

Research show that more than 34% of the people worldwide are active email users which account for 2.5 billion population. It is predicted to increase to 2.8 billion in the next 2 years. The Group's statistics also states that of all the email transactions that happen on a day, 109 billion are business emails. Hence supporting the numbers and from my personal experience being on both ends of the business, I can say email marketing is both a dynamic and substantial means of reaching out and connecting with people. Email has been undeniably one of the biggest parts of our lives in terms of communication. It is still one of the most cost-effective ways of engaging your consumers. It still is one of the traditional platforms that continues to hold its importance in creating brand awareness and converting people into members, customers or supporters.

With social media gaining importance over the past few years the competition remains high as marketers review and optimise their strategies to improve email ROI.

So having established the importance of Email marketing we now look forward to some of the major trends that are likely to sustain and improve this approach in the coming year.

Email Marketing Trends to look forward to in 2018 and help improve your approach:

  1. Mobile Friendly

As per statistics more and more emails are now being read on mobile than on desktop email clients. We now live in a smartphone society and I myself like millions of others is an ardent consumer of content on the move and mobiles are just the kind of device that is handy and practical. Be it checking emails or social media notifications, this medium of marketing is definitely something to optimize on. The emails should be optimized to suit the mobile interface as slow loading emails that are not compatible with mobiles will risk the chances of lower user engagement. Thus lesser number of clickthroughs.

Many mobile visitors end up on the websites from articles and we may end up seeing more articles ending up with email subscriptions to increase conversions. The design of screens on mobile devices has to be visual friendly, easy to read and preferably designed in a manner easy to scan through quickly for reading on the move.

  1. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to have an impact 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation by which the European Union intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). It becomes enforceable from 25 May 2018. This is the biggest change that will affect email marketing strategies in 2018. For a long time obtaining email addresses, phone numbers and other personal contact details via competitions and promotion has been skills used to increase the contact databases, which were used later for email re-engagement campaigns that the user had not initially and explicitly consented to. But now re-consent needs to be given to store and use personal data.

Steps to be taken by marketers in 2018 to comply with GDPR changes

  • Legal and fair processing of data.
  • Data collection should be done for required, distinct and legitimate purposes.
  • Data is adequate, trustworthy and preserved for only as long as it is required
  • The Data should be handled in a way such that strict confidentiality and integrity of all the personal information is maintained.
  1. Personalization and Segmentation holds the key
  • Personalization of emails has worked since times when emails started being addressed by the first names of the recipients. So when it comes to personalizing the emails it still is better to stick to the basics like addressing email with the consumer's first names. But to add to this you might as well consider the concept of dynamic content in your emails. Dynamic content refers to the HTML within your content which changes according to the needs of the recipient. This works together with segmentation (location-based emails and lists) and together they provide the consumer with an email that is perfectly tailored to their needs.
  • Also important to note is the targeted list of recipients should be carefully analyzed as you do not want to end up in the inboxes where your emails will be deleted or marked read without actually reading it. It hurts your domain reputation and possible chances of connecting with potential customers.
  • Personally, I have always preferred emails from a personalized account more than receiving emails from a "no-reply" email address. It gives me a sense of engaging with a real person.
  • If you’re being marked as spam, your domain reputation is at risk, and there are threats of you becoming blacklisted by email providers. Analyze whether the spam complaints are caused by a new source, bad forms, or you are misinterpreting the expectations of your list. Till you figure out, slow down or completely stop sending emails.
    Beware that your emails might also be landing up in the junk folder and going unnoticed as has happened with me. So that needs taking care as well.
  • Graymail refers to bulk email messages that aren’t technically spam because the recipients gave you their information, but in reality, they get your emails and don’t touch them. Engagement rates crash if recipients don’t open your first email, so if they continue ignoring you, the probability of them ever opening your messages is definitely decreasing.
    Stop sending graymail, and try to take the feedback and understand what message the customer is trying to send you across by not opening your email.

Author Bio:
Nicolas Finet is the Co-founder of – an online solutions company which helps customers to find the best marketing agencies. Follow him on Twitter @nifinet!